Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg produced great drama and another fantastic result for Dutch giants Ajax. Here is what happened in those crucial last eight ties:
Ajax stun Juventus in Turin
Dutch giants Ajax recorded a 2-1 win at Juventus’ Allianz Stadium, to progress to the semi-finals 3-2 on aggregate.
Erik ten Hag’s side had already eliminated reigning European champions Real Madrid in the last round. A repeat of their heroics looked unlikely when the home side took the lead on 28 minutes against the run of play.
Cristiano Ronaldo headed home his 126th goal in the competition from a Miralem Pjanic corner kick. The lead lasted just six minutes, as the visitors attacked the game in an impressive manner. Donny van de Beek seized on a mis-hit shot from Hakim Ziyech before firing beyond Wojciech Szczesny in the home goal. After a short VAR consultation, the referee gave the goal.
The visitors controlled to drive forward and Ziyech forced Szczesny into a superb save on 53 minutes. Young Juventus Moises Kean missed a chance, which would prove crucial on 67 minutes. Impressive young centre-back Matthijs De Ligt rose to head home the winning goal from a superb cross from Lasse Schone.
Juventus had no answer to the Dutch sides style of play . Ten Hag’s side will now face either Manchester City or Tottenham in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The Bianconeri’s exit means that Ronaldo will not be in the last four of the competition for the first time since 2010.
Messi memorises Manchester United
United actually started brightly. In the opening minutes, England forward Marcus Rashford raced in on goal, only to fire an effort against the bar. The home side took the lead on 16 minutes, as Messi ended a Champions League quarter-final goal drought that last six years.
Ashley Young was careless in possession. Messi latched on to the ball and advanced to the edge of the United box, where he fired a low effort past David De Gea into the bottom corner of the net.
The Catalan giants doubled their lead four minutes later. Once it was Messi and messy from United goalkeeper David De Gea too. The Argentinian hit a relatively weak shot from just outside the area, only for the strike to squirm through De Gea’s hands into the net.
De Gea did produce a superb save from a close-range effort from Sergi Roberto in the keep the scored down. In reality, the Catalans were in complete control of the tie and sealed victory on the hour mark. Philippe Coutinho cut inside from the flank before smashing home a superb effort into the top corner of the goal.
United’s biggest threat of the second period came when former Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez forced Marc-Andre ter Stegen into a good save with a headed effort. The effort would only have been a consolation goal for United, who were comfortably beaten over the two legs.
Barcelona will face either Liverpool or Porto in the semi-finals. The Catalan giants remain hot favourites to win lift the trophy. Manchester United must bounce back quickly, as they face a potentially testing trip to Everton on Sunday afternoon.
Could Ajax go all the way in the Champions League this season?